Mine Site Lake Reservoir Sediment Dredging

Project Summary

LOCATION: Kearney, Arizona
CLIENT(S): Confidential
SCOPE(S) PERFORMED: Dredging, Sediment Management, Hydrographic Surveying

White Lake Dock & Dredge was responsible for mechanical dredging of more than 130,000 cubic yards of silty, impacted sediments from a remote reservoir located within an active mining site. The materials were extremely fine-grained and silty. The client was facing water quality issues due to uncontrolled sedimentation in the reservoir that threatened the entire mining operation. White Lake Dock & Dredge worked with the client to develop a dredge plan that maximized removal of sediments in key target areas (primarily immediately adjacent to the dam) while also providing adequate access in the shallow draft environment.

Dredge materials were mechanically dredged utilizing a customized Volvo EC480 EL Long Reach excavator (equipped with RTK-GPS dredge guidance software and White Lake’s environmental dredge bucket). This dredge guidance software was coupled with satellite internet service to allow for remote monitoring of work in such a remote area. All materials dredged were transported via off-road trucks more than 3-miles on varying terrain with grades upward of 17% to a disposal site within the mine, in a location more than 500 ft. above the dredging location.

This project involved many unique challenges with the work location, including construction of access roadways into a remote work area requiring significant excavation of fractured rock, mobilization of equipment in a mountainous environment, construction of a safe access dock in an area that was previously unimproved, transportation of sediments to the disposal site in mountainous terrain, and unpredictable weather including regular flooding of the reservoir causing overnight water elevation gains upwards of 30 ft. Project work also involved interfacing with active mining operations and fulfilling all Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) requirements. All sediments were disposed of within the active mining operation and managed to minimize space requirements and water generation.

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